Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Ben Murray Bruce

Benedict Murray-Bruce was born on February 18, 1956 in Lagos to an Ijaw parent Mullighan and Margaret Murray-Bruce from Akassa, Bayelsa State of Nigeria. He attended the famous Our Lady of Apostles, in Yaba, Lagos and St Gregory College in Obalende.
He studied Marketing and Business at the University of Southern Carolina.

Growing up was not a bed of roses. His father was a public servant who worked with the UAC. Ben whose initial dream was to be a professor of history had the opportunity of working in Domino Stores, a departmental store owned by his father. He however decided to do other things. His venture into show business didn’t enjoy the support of his parents. In his words “One time I was dancing and my father saw me dancing. He said, “If I ever catch you dancing, you’ll never use those legs again.” Though his father hated show business, thinking it was a waste of time, but somehow he managed to cope with a son who was bent on making a living out of the business. Even though he hated the business, he enjoyed the attention he was getting being the father to Ben.

Ben got into show business by accident. He recounts “I was at home one day in Los Angeles, USA, and somebody knocked on my door and I said who do you want? He said, he was looking for somebody and I said you are in the wrong house. We got talking and I said what is your name, he told me. And I said what do you do, he said, ‘I’m a teacher’. He was very friendly and so I asked him in. As we talked, I said, ‘if you are a teacher, who do you teach?’ he said Janet Jackson, and I said who else? He said Todd Bridges, Garry Coleman. And I said you mean you are really a teacher? He said yes. Then he asked what do I do? I said, ‘I’m a student of the University of Southern Carolina.

The man told him he was working on a set at that time and invited him over. That was where he met Redd Fox of the Sandford and Sons’ fame, the Jeffersons and others. He ended up meeting a lot of actors and actresses. One day, his friend proposed “Hey, let’s do a show in Nigeria’ and they did their first show and the rest is history.

Silverbird Productions started in 1980 with a borrowed capital of N20, 000.00; a desk in a small corner of the Domino administrative office, six staff and only two business activities, pageant and programme syndication. Today, with hundreds of staff, the company has turned to a conglomerate – three radio stations, Rhythm 93.7 in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt; Silverbird television; the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria; Silverbird Cinema, Silverbird Entertainment and Silverbird Galleria. Silverbird Cinema, the first and only Cinema multi-plex with five screens, has been a huge success and they are holding talks with some State governments in the country to replicate the Lagos success story.

His entry into the pageantry business came at a time when the Miss Nigeria franchise was beginning to lose its glamour, the interest of Nigerians and its sponsor. His brainchild, Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant eventually took over the market leadership from the Miss Nigeria, owned and operated by the Daily Times of Nigeria. MBGN produced the likes of Omasan Buwa, Bianca Onoh and Agbani Darego.

Agbani Darego won the Miss World contest and became the first ever Nigerian and African to win the Miss World pageant. Mr. Bruce successfully brought Julia Morley and the whole Miss World show to Nigeria for the 2002 Miss World event slated for Nigeria that year. Religious riots sparks by a newspaper article torpedoed the plan.

Mr. Bruce who is married to Evelyn, an American with two boys and a girl, has served as Executive Director – Black Music Association of America with Quincy Jones, Dick Griffey, Stevie Wonder as well as Executive Director – Coalition for a Free Africa with the late President Samora Machel of Mozambique and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. He was also on the board of National Arts Theatre Management, The Federal Film Censors Board, The Board of the Nigerian Film Corporation, National Film Distribution Company and Nigerian Anti-Piracy Action Committee.

Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce, motivational speaker role mode to Nigerian youths is a director of several companies in Nigeria as well as in France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
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13 comments:

  1. A great man indeed!! hum’ a great man is not a man after achievement of all materials things in life; but a man with humble heart, a man that possess all kinds of humility, tolerance, out spoke with boldness, faithfulness, and God fearing person, and a man after God desire, A man that has human passion, and ultimate love, a man that feel pain when others are feeling pain without considering his political status neither his intellectual status, A man with positive heart thoughts, and a man of generosity and all virtues of kindness.
    However, I never knew that Ben Murray Bruce is a Nigerian citizen, my thinking was that perhaps he might be Afro-black American till I am inspired by many of his speeches that lead me to types his name on Google to find out his biography, and his origin’ moreover you have a great history, and I pray that God almighty will always protecting you and your family and establish all your heart desire in life.

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    1. I just googled about his biography. I thought he was a mix race, I never knew his was a full Nigerian. I hope he will actualised what he preaches.

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  2. A great man indeed, with so much passion for Nigeria. I pray that God will give you the chance to help shape back our great country Nigeria.

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  3. Sounds like an honorable man. I hope he lives up to his speech. We have the likes of him, that succumbed to temptation and pressure from colleagues.

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  4. We have long searched for those Great Men of Africa who are expected to lead the continent and the world to a new era of peace, prosperity and equitable distribution of wealth. It appears that Senator-Elect Ben Bruce is indeed such a man of character and commitment. Congratulations to Nigeria for their recent elections, conducted in peace and fairness. May you continue to be blessed with prosperity, superb health and unlimited growth in human capacity.

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  5. I though he's biracial...kudos to a great visionary.

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  6. I thought he is not a Nigerian.Congratulation for winning at the pools and tribunal.We pray for men like you.Who have a collective aspirations for the poor masses,voicing out the need to actualize our dreams and visions.Kudos to you

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  7. yeah, but, he should stop handshaken women

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  8. The quest to who he is brought me here, I really like his person, I hope he won't falls into the trap of those selfish politicians. I pray u do what u preach.

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  9. Goodday Mr Murray Bruce since listening to you doing the past election I have had a great respect and interest in your views and am hoping you would keep being a principled & exemplary person that will be there for HUMANITY not self. Wish you also a GREAT AND FULFILLING BIRTHDAY ahead as some of us have no VIP invitation to be there to wish u well! Hv a great celeb!🎂 🌠

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  10. Happy birthday my great uncle dooo......

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  11. Ben Murray Bruce is one who has the ideas and courage needed to revamp our failing economy. I pray for everyone to have same ideas and courage with which we can drive our economy forward.

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